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Art Gallery WA Media Release
Frederick Garling, View across the coastal plain

Blue Sky with rainbow

AGWA’s major new sculptural installation
by US artist Julianne Swartz

From October 2016 | FREE

Bathed in sunshine for an average of nine hours a day, Perth is the sunniest capital city in Australia. Harvesting this plentiful sunlight is AGWA’s major new sculptural installation, Blue Sky with Rainbow by US artist Julianne Swartz.

Julianne Swartz is an American artist who uses installation, sound art and sculpture to explore the interface between private and public, inside and outside, individuals and surroundings. She is highly regarded for her sophisticated use of technologies, both pre-existing and those developed by the artist herself: in this case a solar powered light captured on the roof and encased in sky-blue cable which winds its way into and around two floors of the Gallery.

Enveloping a multitude of Gallery spaces, her new work invites Gallery visitors to observe and engage more closely with their surroundings. It also draws attention to the Gallery’s architecture and structural details, especially those which are often overlooked.

The cable travels through the Concourse to the entrance foyer, while a second line wraps around a column on the second floor before making its way to the wall that frames the stairwell. Here, the cable enters a hole in the wall, large enough that viewers could peer inside. Deep inside the cavity of the wall, sunlight emits from the end of the optic line and strikes a prism element that has been embedded there. The prism itself is not visible, but the refracted sunlight creates a nascent rainbow, which hovers in the excavated space inside the wall.

In conversation | FREE
1pm, Sunday 23 October

AGWA’s new major sculptural installation, Blue Sky with Rainbow harvests plentiful Western Australian sunlight to beckon visitors into the galleries. Join US artist, Julianne Swartz with AGWA Curator, Jenepher Duncan for a discussion about how this project came about.

Quote attributable to Jenepher Duncan, AGWA Curator of Australian Contemporary Art
"This new installation work by Julianne Swartz quietly reveals its subtle interaction with the Gallery’s concourse spaces and draws on natural sources that is a key feature of her practice as well as the passing presence of the viewer. Swartz has remarked that she makes ‘sculptures to create a situation where the wondrous and the mundane can occur simultaneously….I'm looking for the instant when light in its changing forms makes the ordinary remarkable,” (2016)."

Further information

For more information, interviews and imagery please contact Tanya Sticca on 9492 6692 or email

Annual Sponsors

Principal Partner

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303 MullenLowe, Singapore Airlines, Audi, Smartbots, Alex Hotel, Juniper Estate, Gage Roads Brewing Co.

Artist's Impression Julianne Swartz Blue Sky with Rainbow 2015. Fiberoptic, sunlight, plastic tubing, prism, hardware, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist. © the artist.

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